Everyone in the LOA community thinks they have the Law of Attraction pat down, but I don't buy that.
I don't actually like the term "Law of Attraction" because I think it's inadequate to explain how manifestation really works. I'll tell you why in a moment.
From what I gather, even some of the better-known "spiritual gurus" seem to have only a vague idea of how all of this LOA stuff fits together. You can tell by the fact that when you poke them with real-life questions, you can watch their lofty theories fall apart like crumb cake.
For instance, The Secret, arguably the most famous of all the LOA books, tells you that harboring negative thoughts for a long time will draw negative results to you.
Hmmm... then what about people who obsessively think about horrible things? That includes just about every OCD sufferer on the planet. Do they all have terrible, tragic lives? I doubt it.
What about people with phobias, the obsessive fear of an object or situation? Take arachnophobes, people with an obsessive fear of spiders: Do they find black widows, brown recluses, and plate-size tarantulas in their houses on a daily basis? Where are the huge cobwebs that should be hanging from their ceilings?
I'm a prime example too. Germans aren't particularly known for their bubbly, sunny temperament, and I'm no exception. But for a glass-half-empty person, I've had a pretty darn good life.
Oh, but wait, says Michael Bernard Beckwith, one of the contributors to The Secret: "Oftentimes when people begin to understand the Great Secret, they become frightened of all the negative thoughts that they have. They need to be aware that it has been scientifically proven [emphasis mine] that an affirmative thought is hundreds of times more powerful than a negative thought."
Excuse me? It's scientifically proven? I don't know what kind of science he refers to, but it sure is none I've ever heard of. No wonder so many people think manifestation is bullshit, if that's the best these "gurus" can come up with.
Now, don't get me wrong: It's not like I encourage negative thinking. There's no doubt that it can and will make you miserable if you indulge in it.
But I don't want you to be afraid of random negative thoughts. If you already worry too much—which kind of is a woman thing, especially if you're a mom—the last thing you need to add is more fear and anxiety.
The best way to deal with anxiety is to calmly look at it and realize that you are not your thoughts and feelings. Then just let the negative thoughts pass by, like clouds in a blue sky. You can visualize that too if it helps you. I often do.
Focus alone won't do you
I don't claim to have all the answers, and I sure as hell don't claim to have mainstream science in my corner. But I know some things from personal experience.
Here's one: focus alone won't manifest anything, and thank God for that. So, if you have a recurring nightmare of being caught naked on a stage in front of a large audience, obsessing over it isn't enough to make it happen. You'd have to actually go to that strip club and apply for a job. (Just kidding.)
Five things must come together to manifest: Attention... intention... imagination... emotion... and faith. I use the word "faith" on purpose even though it's so loaded with controversy. Believing in a Supreme Being hugely helps with successful manifestation (see "Suspend Disbelief" below).
But how in the world do you fake believing something if it's obviously not true?
A. Suspend disbelief (the same way you do when you're watching a movie). Here's where faith can come in handy. If you are following some kind of religion or other spiritual belief system, you're already a grandmaster in suspending disbelief. Every religion has tenets and mysteries that you simply have to believe without having proof for them. Extend that faith to the situation you want to manifest. Pretend it's already here. And then visualize the heck out of it.
B. Know that everything that could possibly exist already does. Now, this one's even more of a mind-bender, but if you can make that mental twist, the required faith for manifestation transforms into knowing. And knowing, by definition, doesn't require any faith.
It's like when people ask me if I believe in ghosts, and I say, "No, I don't believe in ghosts. I know that ghosts exist, because I've seen some."